Wikileaks is a threat to national security
The Pentagon has drawn up a report that accuses Wikileaks of being a threat to US national security. Wikileaks is a website where whistleblowers can publish documents anonymously without fear that they can be tracked and therefore punished. The website has published videos of the US army and Air force engaged in attacks that result in needless civilian casualties where helicopters opened fire with no justification. However Wikileaks just seems to be doing exactly the kind of things the fourth estate is supposed to do and should be no more a threat than journalists.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Can release information that may be dangerous
Although in this case the information poses no threat to anyone and saying it is a threat to national security is silly this does not mean that such a threat might not be more real next time. Suppose wikileaks released information on potential strategies for an invasion of Iran justifying it as showing the US intended to invade. This would obviously both seriously affect international relations and would potentially place soldiers in jeprody should Iran really be invaded. This would also be the case with any leaks on men and material. Similarly there might also be leaks on the intellegence agencies that could have major national security implications.
Can we really trust wikileaks to avoid such stories?
That it is truly anonymous means that things may well be leaked that would not be otherwise. People who have lost out in some bureaucratic battle might use wikileaks as a way to get even and destroy the other side's viewpoint. Obviously we would hope that people working for government would not be vindictive with national policy but there is nothing to stop it happening.
Furthermore, if it's not traceable, is it not also rather possible to generate hoaxes?
That it is not traceable is WikiLeaks greatest strength. While it may protect the identity of some gossips and hoaxers, but it also affords protection to people who need or would like to release information about activities which they feel are important but which they cannot discuss openly.
For example, reporting a companies' negligent waste disposal management might lose an employee a job. Not reporting it might destroy a local environment.
Places like Wikileaks means there is an outlet for information of this sort without fear of reprisal. This can be balanced against potential hoaxers and liars by simple investigation. In my example, investigate the companies' waste disposal practices. If they are not being negligent, there will be no problem.
You take it out of context
Context is important for most things, and if you publish a document that may only be a prediction if, for example, certain economic conditions come to pass, if you don't understand the nature of the economic situation, then you're not going to be able to adjudge anything about the understanding of the situation out of which the policy has been born. So you cannot really see it for what it is, and the extracting of your own meaning from it is dangerous, to say the least.
Can't be used as blackmail if everyone knows it.
Information on Wikileaks is not being handed to 'foreign intelligence services', it is being publicy released onto the Internet. Information known to everyone is completely valueless.
This assumes that all the Wikileaks staff are entirely trustworthy. They are human and have their own agendas. The information they reject is an unknown and may not be cleanly erased.
Also, if the information is valueless when everyone knows it, why publish it? To take away the value it had when it was secret?
Safeguards in place.
Wikileaks checks information thoroughly to make sure it is not 'rumour, opinion or other kinds of first hand reporting or material that is already publicly available' - reducing the chance of inaccurate information turning into libel and slander - and is protected by 'advanced cryptographic techniques and legal techniques'. Therefore, it is fairly secure and likely to be true.
If the information was leaked in the first place, it was not secure. We already know from the Gary McKinnon case that the US Government cannot store information securely.
The information still cannot be made as secure on the Internet as it will be on a Government or military database.
Why would a Government legitimately need to block the sort of material that goes on Wikileaks?
Wikileaks is designed as a safe way for those potentially being censored or are in danger to report human rights violation and large scale fraud. If a Government is actually engaged in these activities, then they do not have a right to pursue them, nor to hide them, and so cannot complain. If what they are doing is above board, why would Wikileaks be interested in it?
A list of names and addresses of people who support the BNP is not the sort of material that should be widespread on the Internet. People will be targetted for abuse and lose their jobs for belonging to a political party, which is clear discrimination. It can be argued that the BNP are not a legitimate political party but count as an organisation that wish to abuse human rights, but this is a grey area that should have been thought through before posting the details. Wikileaks cannot be trusted to make correct decisions about what kind of information it accepts and rejects.
conducive to better military service
it isn't a threat to national security but rather a measure of how well they're doing.
millions of dollars in tax money go into military spending, People should know that their money is being put to good use and if it isn't then wikileaks is a wonderful means to keep the ranks in check.
It is the rest of the world's business when; the rights of the citizens of the rest of the world are at stake. Perhaps tax -payers are happy with inhumane methods used to tranquilize foreigners?
The rest of the world has signed documents and charters defining human rights and how they should be exercised; it is in their/our right to pursue global/international justice even if we/they aren't victims or abusers themselves.
This only stresses the importance of implementing international justice and in no way justifies censorship.
Wikileaks leaks information about a country's military all over the world wide web. This is an attack on a country's sovereignty; while tax-payers do reserve the right to make sure their money is not in the wrong hands; it's really not the rest of the world's business.
Then again only the parties(countries) involved in the matter (both victim and abuser) should tab into the info and not the rest of the world.
Since most of the military men/women featured in these leaks/videos/photos get off easy with no punishment; bad behavior in the military is accentuated not assuaged : other army officers who would otherwise not break the rules see this as inspiration.
When violators go untouched it has the reverse effect of a deterrent.
National Security is at risk when Government is not monitored.
With out freedom of press, our Government can easily run out of control. The founding fathers knew the importance of the freedom of the press, and left this as a safety check for US citizens.
What do you think?